Thursday, April 2, 2020
Dan Moeckly, left, and James Lundgren of the Steele County Historical Society stand in front of one of the current exhibits at the Steele County Historical Museum. This exhibit traces events of World War I. Two new exhibits will begin to take shape in November: American Legions of Steele County and Rural Schools of Steele County.

Historical Society seeks micro funding help

2 new exhibits planned on Legion, rural schools

"We can't do it alone," says Daniel Moeckly, archives and technology manager of the Steele County Historical Society.

Moeckly and James Lundgren, executive director of the Historical Society, are embarking on an ambitious goal of raising some funds to make over two exhibits at the Steele County Historical Museum.

Funds will be used to buy supplies for the exhibits and will be directed toward maintenance of the exhibits. "Every penny will be dedication to construction of exhibits or how they are run," said Lundgren.

Moeckly and Lundgren are spearheading a micro funding campaign and are asking for the public to help in supplying artifacts or funds.

To help by donating history items or helping by donating financially, contact the Museum at 507-451-1420, or go to the websiste:

A goal has been set "to redo" the current two exhibits on display at the Steele County Museum.

A makeover of the exhibits is only possible with the public's help, Moeckly and Lundgren emphasize.

The Steele County Historical Society is hoping to increase an  awareness of the current exhibits on display and also to reach out to the public for help to create new exhibits in a public gallery display area.

Exhibits currently on display are:

            • World War I exhibit entitled "Over Here, Over There, the Great War." This exhibit opened in April of 2017.

            • "Toys and Play" spans the period from 1970 to present and traces the changes in technology. This exhibit opened in May of 2018.

The plan is to close down these two exhibits in October of this year and then begin to install two new exhibits. The new exhibits are:

            • American Legion in Steele County, 100 years old. Four pillars of American Legion will be built: support of youth, support  of veterans, Americanism and national security.

            • Rural schools in Steele County, the story is told of how education evolved and what it was like for the students and teachers.

A realistic goal of raising $5,000 for each new exhibit has been set. "We will accept anywhere from $1 to $100," said Moeckly. "We will also accept archive donations," Lundgren added.


Creating an awareness of Steele County history is the main goal, both officials claim. Exhibits are built with research information gleaned from surveys. Surveys are available through the internet or from hard copies.

Grant monies totaling $15,000 have already been expended to write text for the American Legion exhibit. Moeckly has also been leading a small Steele County American Legion group the past two years in an attempt to catalog Steele County Legion history.

Moeckly has also been researching how rural schools function. "The one-room school was the heart of rural communities," says Moeckly. More than half of the Baby Boomers and the Greatest Generation went to rural schools, says Moeckly.

Moeckly and Lundgren said history concepts are explored for the next 10 years on the short range, medium range and long range."We are actively writing through 2025," says Moeckly.

Other historical topics include: Steele County makes music, history of childhoods and native Steele County. The goal is to define what Steele County is like, Moeckly said.

"It's evolutionary," Lundgren said in further explaining the historical footprint development. "We always welcome new ideas," he said.

The complex process of re-creating history "is not as easy as snapping your fingers," Lundgren remarked.

Much of the current exhibits are interactive and that is the goal when building new exhibits, Moeckly and Lundgren insist.

"If people have items to donate or wish to make a monetary donation, please contact us," invites Lundgren.

"We aim to tell Steele County stories," said Moeckly stated.

Two new exhibits hopefully will be taking shape in November. "We won't do a sub-standard exhibit, so we may adjust the timetable if necessary," said Lundgren.

Lundgren continued, "The SCHS is dedicated to offering high quality exhibits that meet our constituents' interests as indicated through information we collected through surveys. We also hope people will share their passion and interest in history by donating to our cause."

See full story in this week’s print edition or subscribe online. Please subscribe here or current subscribers can login here.

Steele County Times & DCI

Steele County Times
411 E. Main St.
P.O. Box 247
Blooming Prairie, MN 55917

Dodge County Independent
121 West Main St.
Kasson, MN 55944

Dodge County Printing
121 West Main St.
Kasson, MN 55944


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